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Eumenides. 




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GEORGE BELL AND SONS 

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BELL'S MODERN TRANSLATIONS. 

A NEW SERIES OF TRANSLATIONS FROM MODERN LAN- 
GUAGES, WITH MEMOIRS, INTRODUCTIONS, Etc. 

CROWN %V0. PAPER COVERS, IS. EACH. 



DANTE.— Inferno. By Rev. H. F. Gary, M. A. " With Notes. 
DANTE.— Purgatorio. By Rev. H. F. Gary, M.A. With Notes. 

DANTE Paradisb. By Rev. H. F. Gary, M.A. With Note?. 

GOETHE. — Goetz von Berlichingen. By Sir Walter Scott. 
GOETHE.-T-Egtnont. By AnnaSwanWick, LL.D. 
GOETHE.-LHermann and DoTothea. By E. A. Bowring, C.B. 
GOETHE.— Iphigenia in Tauris. By Anna Swanwick, LL.D. 
HAUFF.— The Caravan. By S. Mendel. 
HAUFF.— The Inn in the Spessart. By S. Mendel. 
LESSING.— Laokoon. By 1|. C. '.Beasley. With Introduction and 

Notes. "' 

LESSING — Nathan the Wise. By R. Dillon Boylan. 

LESSING Minna von Barnhelrb. By Ernest Bell, M.A. 

MOLIERE.— The Misanthrope. By C. Heron Wall. 
MOLIERE.— The Doctor in Spite of Himself. (Le Medecin malgrea 

lui.) By C. Heron Wall. 
MOLIERE.— Tartuffe; or the IinpoStor. By C. Heron Wall. 
MOLIERE.— The Miser (L'Avarej. By C. Heron Wall. 
MOLIERE.— The Shopkeeper Turned Gentleman (Le Bourgeois 

Gentilhomme). By C. I^eron Wall. 

MOLIERE.— The Affecte'd Ladies (Les Precieuses Ridicufes.) By 

C. Heron Wall. 
MOLIERE. — The Learned Women (Les Femmes Savantes). By 

C. Heron Wall. ,, 

MOLIERE.— The Ittijppstures of Scapin. By C. Heron Wall. 
RACINE.— Athalie. JBy R. Bruce Boswell, M.A. 
RACINE.— Esther. By R. Bruce Boswell, M.A. 
RACINfi.— Iphigeiiia. By R. Bruce Boswell, M.A. 
RACINE.— Andromache. By R. Bruce Boswell, M.A. 
RACINE.— Pritannicus. By R. Brucr Boswell, M.A. 
SCHILLER.— William Tell. By Sir Theodore Martin, K.C.B. 

LL.D. New Editiotl, entirely Revised. 
SCHILLER.— The Maid of Orleans. By Anna Swanwick, LL.D. 
SCHILLER.— Mary Stuart. By J. Mellish. 
SCHILLER,— Wallenstein's Camp and The Piccolomini. By 

James Churchill and S. T. Coleridge. 
SCHILLER.— The Death of Wallenstein. By.S. T. Coleridge, 



London: GEORGE BELL AND SONS 



THE EUMENIDES OF ^SCHYLUS 





THE 


PLAYS .OF ^SCHYLUS 


Already published, is. eizch 


THE 


AGAMEMNON 


THE 


SUPPLIANTS 


THE 


CHOEPHOROE 


THE 


PROMETHEUS BOUND 


THE 


EUMENIDES 




Others in. preparation 


London 


: GEORGE BELL & SONS 



THE 

PLAYS OF i^SCHYLUS 



TRANSLATED FROM A REVISED TEXT BY 

WALTER HEADLAM, Litt.D., 

FELLOW OF king's COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE 



THE EUMENIDES 




LONDON 

GEORGE BELL & SONS 

1908 



^W 



/ 



THE EUMENIDES 



DRAMATIS PERSONS 

The Pythian Prophetess. 
Apollo. 
Orestes. 

Hermes (silent), conducting Orestes, 
Ghost of Clytemnestra. 
Chorus of the Furies. 
Athena. 

Jury of Areopagites. 

Escort of Athenians, who^conduct the Furies to their cavern in 
procession, with a chorus. 



THE EUMENIDES 

{The Furies) 



Delphi, before the temple of Apollo. 

Prophetess. First among the Gods I name with chiefest 
honour in this prayer the first diviner Gaea (Earth) ; and 
after her Themis (Law) ; for she, as a tradition telleth, 
took her seat here second upon that which was her mother's 
place of oracle ; and third in succession, with the good- 
will and consent of Themis and with no force done to any, 
another Titaness and child of Earth took seat here, Phoebe ; 
she bestowed it as a birthday gift on Phoebus, and he 
bears the name of Phoebe borrowed from her.i He, coming 
from the lake and ridge of Delos, landed at the havening lo 
shores of Pallas, and came thence to this country and his 
seat upon Parnassus. He was brought upon his way with 
solemn worship by the sons of Hephaestus, the road-makers, 
taming the wildness of the untamed land. And on his 
coming he was most highly honoured by the people and by 
Delphos the sovereign ruler of this country. Zeus caused 

' The purpose of this opening passage is to prepare for the har- 
monious reconciliation at the close between the Powers of Earth and 
Darkness and the Powers of Heaven and Light. 

I I 



2 THE EUMENIDES 

his mind to be inspired with the diviner's art, and seated 
him as the fourth prophet on this throne ; and Loxias is 
the interpreter of Zeus his father. 

These are the Gods I worship in my opening prayer. 20 
And Pallas of the Precinct hath honourable mention also ; 
and I adore the Nymphs, that habit where is the Corycian 
cavern, hollow, beloved of birds, the haunt of deities. — 
Bromius hath possessed the region — I am not forgetful — 
since the time when in his deity he led an army of the 
Bacchanals, designing death for Pentheus like a hunted 
hare. And with a call upon the springs of Pleistus, and 
Poseidon's power, and on the Most High Zeus of Consum- 
mation, I then take my seat as prophetess : — and may they 
grant me that my entrance now may be more successful 30 
far than any heretofore. And if there be any Hellenes 
present, let them come in order of the lot, as is the usage ; 
for I give responses as the God dictates. 

(The Priestess enters the temple, and presently comes 
out again, half fainting.^ 

horror, horror, horror to relate and to behold, hath 
sent me forth again from the house of Loxias, that I have 
no strength left in me nor agile step ; my running is rather 
with my hands than nimbleness of legs ; for an aged 
woman in alarm is nought — nay, even as a child. 

1 was on my way towards the laurelled cell, when on the 
Navel-stone I saw a man polluted before heaven in the 40 
session of a suppliant, his hands dripping with blood, 
and holding a drawn sword and a high-grown branch 
of olive, wreathed in humble fashion with the largest 
wool — a silvery fleece, for on that point I will speak with 
certainty. 

And before this man there sleeps a wondrous troop of 
women seated upon thrones — no, not women, Gorgons : 




THE EUMENIDES 

no, nor yet Gorgons either can I compare them to : — I have 
seen some in a picture before now carrying ofif the feast of 60 
Phineus — but these are wingless, and black, and abominable 
altogether. And they snore with blasts one cannot venture 
near, and from their eyes there drips a loathsome rheum. 
And their attire is such as is not fit to bring near statues 
of the Gods, nor into homes of men. My eyes have never 
seen the tribe these visitants belong to, and I know not 
the land that can boast to breed this generation without 
harm, and not repent her pains. 

The sequel now must be his care who is the master 60 
of this house, the mighty Loxias himself: he is both 
Medicining-Seer and Portent-reader, and to those others 
purifier of their houses. 

The interior of the temple. Orestes seated at the Centre- 
stone, the Furies surrounding him, asleep ; Hermes 
in the background. 

{Enter Apollo.) 

Apollo. I will not fail ! Through to the end I will be thy 
protector close by thy side — aye, and though far removed, 
— and will not show me gentle to thine enemies. So now 
thou seest here these raveners overcome by sleep : there 
lying sunken the abominable Maids, these hoary, ancient 
Children, with whom never mateth God or man or any 70 
beast 1 — nay, evil was the very cause of their creation,^ for 

1 The relative clause, by a studied carelessness, usurps the place of 
the main sentence : C/ajJ. VPsJ'. 1904, p. 242. There is another example 
at V. 688. 

^ Paradise Lost, i. 622 : 

' A universe of death, which God by curse 
Created evil, for evil only good, 
Where all life dies, death lives.' 



4 THE EUMENIDES 

it is the evil darkness of the Pit that they inhabit under 
the earth, things abhorred by human kind and by the Gods 
of Heaven. Nevertheless thou must still fly and grow not 
faint ; for they will chase thee right across the long main- 
land, footing it ever over the trodden earth,^ and beyond 
sea and island colonies. And let not thy spirit fail through 
too much dwelling on the toil of it, but go unto the town 
of Pallas, and take session, clasping her ancient image in 80 
thine arms. And there, with judges of the case and speech 
of soothing charm, we will discover means to free thee 
wholly from this trouble ; for it was at my persuasion thou 
didst take thy mother's life. 

Orestes. Lord Apollo, thou well knowest what is 
righteousness, and being perfect in that lore, add only to 
be not forgetful of it ; thy strength to do good act is fully 
competent. 

Apollo. Remember, let not fear dismay thy spirit. — And 
thou {to Hermes), my very brother, of one Father's blood, 
H ermes, do thou protect him ; prove full well thy title 90 
and be Guide, in shepherding this man, my suppliant. It 
is a thing sacred in the eyes of Zeus, this sanctity of out- 
laws, when sped forth upon their journey with auspicious 
escort.^ 

[Apollo leaves the temple, and Orestes starts upon his 
journey in the charge of Hermes. 

^ v. 76 fii^wyr' av' aUl T^v TT\avo(rTt^TJ x^^^^- 

dp/jLC^HePOf $poTo7a'LV evTrS^irtf) tvxt). 
Aeschylus might have written ip/i.ai/j.evai', but o-€;8ei rrfS' iKvSfiav aiPas 
is an idiomatic way of saying o-t'^ei roiJcrSe iKvi/aous, as, for example, 
V. 548 TOKfav (Tefias i5 irporiati, and v. 886 dx\' ei /ih a.yv6v iirn 
iroi Uii8ovs <re$as : so that t6S' 4Ki>6fi.a>v (re$as Sp/i^/icpov is equivalent 
to ToiffSi iKv6/iovs Sp/ioiitevovs, while $poTo7crii> here, as often, merely 
means ' with men,' ' on earth.' The sentence has been sometimes 
misinterpreted, as though ipiid/avov meant 'sent to men.' 



THE EUMENIDES 5 

{Enter the Ghost (j/Clytemnestra.) 

Clyt. Oh, ah, sleep on, would ye ! and what good are ye 
asleep ? While I, thus slighted in contempt by you, with 
t;he other dead there for my killing the reproach among the 
perished is still fresh and vivid,i and I wander in disgrace 
abroad : — I tell you, I am most grievously accused by 
them — and yet, though used so shamefully by nearest kin, 100 
there is not one Spirit that shows wrath on my account, 
slaughtered as I was with hands of matricide ! — Behold the 
wounds here with thine inward consciousness.^ 

Oh and yet plenty of my provisions have ye lapped 
- — wineless drink-offerings, sober soothing-draughts, and 
banquets in the solemn night upon the burning brazier 
would I sacrifice, a season shared with you by none in 
Heaven. And all this I behold now trod like dirt beneath no 
your feet, and hejs, gone, escaped even as a fawn ; ay, and ~y 
that lightly from the very meshes hath he sprung, making 
great mouths at you ! Give ear, because my plea is for my 
very life ! Be conscious, O ye Goddesses of earth below ! 
'Tis in a dream now Clytemnestra calls to you. 

{A sound of muttering or mewing (/xv /aC Ar. Eq. lo) is 
heard from the Furies.) 

^ Clytemnestra's passion makes her incoherent. 

^ w. 103 ipa Z\ vKTiyas TdcrSe KapSl^ ffid^v. Her wound was at 
the throat, irphs Sipr\v z/. 595, iaa Se'pas Eur. El. 1219. After this line 
the MS. gives : 

iv^ovffa yap (pp^v 6fj.fJ!,atTty Ka^irpuverai, 
iy Tifiipc^ Se ^jiolp^ aTrp6aKOTros ^porcov, 
' for when asleep the mind is lit with eyes, but in the daytime mortal 
man hath no endowment of prevision.' But the Furies are not 
mortal men, nor do they need foresight to see what is present ; nor 
is Clytemnestra in a mood for such reflections. I believe with Schuetz 
that Ihey are an illustration quoted from some other play of Aeschylus. _. 



6 the'eumenides 

/' Cfyi. Mew, mew ! but the man is gone and far in flight. 
/ For he hath friends far different from mine ! ^ 

(They mew again.) 120 

Clyt. Thou art too drowsy, thou hast no compassion for 
my case ; meanwhile Orestes, murderer of his mother here, 
is gone ! 

{Cries of^ O, O,' from the Fueies.) 

Clyt. ' O, O,' and slumbering I Come, arise at once. 
What deed hast thou accomplished except working mischief? 

Fur. O, O ! 

Clyt. Slumber and weariness, empowered conspirators, 
have drawn the venom of the dreadful dragoness ! 
i Fur. ( With redoubled whimperings.) To him, to him, to 130 
him, to him, mark there ! 

Clyt. 'Tis but in dream thou art hunting and giving 
tongue, like a hound whose eager keenness never ceases. 
What is thy doing} ^ Up ! let not fatigue subdue thee; be 
not made so soft with sleep as to forget the sense of hurt. 
Let thy liver feel the sting of merited reproaches ; for to 
the right-minded they are as a goad.^ — And thou, waft thy 

' Reading (with Weil) <t>i\ot ydp el<riv, ovk eftois irpoffUKiTis. 
Hermann's reading (piXois yap tlaiv, ova ifiol, irpoaiKropts (which 
takes irpoalKTopes like Zeus a^lKTup in Supp. l) would mean 'for it 
is my kin, not I, that have petitionary Gods': what one looks for 
rather is 'but I have none,' that is, e'jiiol S' ov, as in Eur. Or. 576, 
where Orestes says : 

^ /xTjTpl \i.\v Tti.pnin aiiiixaxoi 9iol, 
T^ S' oif irdpeiffi, fiaWov TjSiKTHxevai. 

^ rl Spas; as ri aoi ire'irpaicTai irpay/ia in v. 125. 

^ V. 135, The vengeance of the dead, of which the Furies are 
embodiments, was conceived as being stirred up by reproaches, taunts, 
of the indignities and shames that they had suffered ; see CAo. 374 (with 
my note), 493, Eur. Or. 1239, Soph. £/. 1069 ; and reproaches were 
described in many metaphorical words (as edyeiv Theb. 369, /iaa-TiKTiip 
Supp. 475, KaSiKVitaBai) as slinging blows, as from a scourge or goad. 
In V. 15s we see these taunts at work. 



THE EUMENIDES 7 

blood-hot breath upon the man, wither him with the hot 

blast of thy belly's fire ; follow with a fresh pursuit and wear 

him down. [£xii. 

{The Furies awake.) 

Fur. Rouse, arouse her there, as I rouse thee ! Art 140 
sleeping ? Come, arise and kick sleep off, and in this prelude 
let us see if there be anything at fault. 

Out upon it ! Fie ! O sisters, we have suffered — 

Suffered much and wantonly have I ! 

Suffered bitter anguish, O alack ! 

A fearful blow ! 

The game hath slipped from the meshes and is gone — 

Overcome by sleep I lost my prey ! 

Aha, thou son of Zeus, thou art a thievish knave — 

Thy youth has ridden trampling over aged Deities — 150 

To respect thy suppliant, a godless man and cruel to his 
parents — • 

The mother-slayer thou hast filched away, and thou a 
God! 

What is there here that any can call right ? 

And to me in dreams there came rebuke, that smote me 
as a chariot-driver with mid-grasped goad — 

Under the ribs, under the lobe — 

Sore I can feel it, sore exceedingly, a chill from the fell 
common scourger's lash ! ^ 160 

This is what these Younger Powers do, 

Usurping everything beyond their rights — 

A dripping curd of gore ^ 

About the foot, about the head — the eye may see the 

1 See V. 135 with the note. As the Furies are embodied in a concrete 
form, the taunts of Clytemnestra take effect in that way. In v. 161 
read with Schuetz ^api ri, ireplPapv, Kpios ^x^'" '■ <^f- ^^^^. 8i9- 

^ V. 164 ep6jt.fiov Wakefield. 



8 THE EUMENIDES 

Navel-stone of Earth possessed of a huge stain of blood 
upon it.i 

A Prophet, he hath brought defilement on his holy cell 170 
with home-pollution, self-invited and self-urged ; transgress- 
ing the Gods' law, he hath regarded human things, and the 
ancient Apportionings ^ he hath destroyed. 

To me too is he grievous, and the man's deliverance he 
shall not compass ; though he fly below the earth, there is 
no freedom for him evermore ; a man with guilt upon him 
unabsolved, he shall get upon his head another to pollute 
him there. ^ 

{Enter Apollo.) 

Ap. Out, I command you ! get you from this house 
forthwith, begone from my prophetic cell I for fear you get 18O 
a winged glistering serpent speeding from the golden string, 
and with the pain disgorge the red froth drawn from human 
creatures, vomiting the clotted blood that you have sucked ! 
These are not houses you are fit to come unto ; your place 
is where are punishments of lopping heads and digging eyes 
and cutting throats, where by destruction of the seed boys' 
youthful vigour is impaired, and mutilation of extremities,* 

1 V. 169 : 

One could hardly find a better example of the middle voice. 

^ iroAoiyeceis 5€ Molpas (j>8i<ras, more or less personified : v. 730 
Tvahaiks 5iavofJ.a.s KaTatpBicras is the same thing. 
^ erepov 4v KCtpa 
fiitlfrTop' ^Kiivov TrdiTiTai MS, 
In place of eicefi/oi/ metre requires — >»' ^. 

* f. 185. On this passage see Class. Rev. 1905, p. 397. The 
alternation of substantives (with ilaiv or -yiytiovTiu understood) and 
verbs is quite natural in Greek, e.g. Aesch.. frag. 158 : 
Bep^ttui/Ta x^'pof, ^v6' 'ASpavTilas eSos, 
"IStjs TE fiVKrid/ioTffi Kal ffpux^/iacty 
hpirovfTt fiiiKuv iray dpex^^^fi ireSov 



THE EUMENIDES 9 

and stoning, and where men moan long and piteously, im- 
paled beneath the spine ! — Do ye hear the sort of feast ye 190 
have a liking for, that makes you loathed of Heaven ? And 
all the fashion of your form suggests it. A blood-lapping 
lion's den is where such as you should habit, not in this 
wealthy i place of oracle, infecting with contagion. Begone 
ye in a herd unshepherded ! No God in heaven hath any 
love for such a flock as you. 

Fur. Lord Apollo, listen now to our reply : — Thou thy- 
self art answerable for this, not in part, but all; 'tis thy 
sole doing, and thou art answerable wholly. 

Ap. How so ? Extend thy speech so far. ^ 

Fur. Thou gavest injunction that the man here should 
do matricide. 

Ap. I gave injunction to exact ^ vengeance for his father. 

Fur. And then engaged thyself to be acceptor of the 
blood. 

Ap. And bade him turn for absolution to this temple. 200 

Fur. And then revilest his conductors hither ? 

Ap. Ay, they are not fit ^ to come near such a house as 
this. 

Fur. But this is a part appointed us. 

Ap. What is this proud office ? Let us hear the noble 
privilege ! 

{Class, Rev. 1902, p. 435), Eur. Cycl. 164-170, Philostr. Apoll. v. 26 
tvQa. mfJ-ayti re Kal v^pis oWvvtwv t6 koI oWvfjLGyuyj ^eet S' al/xart yata. 

' V. 195 irKovffioicri : a frequent epithet of temples, especially of 
Delphi with its rich offerings and its treasuries. n\7i(rioi(n of the MS. 
could not mean anything except 'in this neighbouring place,' and 
neighbouring to what ? It has no meaning. TKovfflota-i is Pauw's 
emendation ; the words are confused elsewhere, as Eur. Med. 956, 
Max. Tyr. xxxv. 3, Schol. P. V. 832 (v.l.), Stob. Flor. 22. 3, 

'^ V. 203 -irpa^ai. Wecklein's icAei^oi would be true (Soph. El. 35), 
but seems less fitting here. 

^ V. 207 irp6a(popi>i. 



lO THE EUMENIDES 

Fur. We drive out mother-slayers from their homes. 210 

Fur. And women ^ — how with a woman that destroys 
her husband ? 

i'wr. That would not be a killing of same blood and 
kindred. 

Ap. O quite then dishonoured and of no account you 
make ^ the troth-plight between Zeus and Hera of Comple- 
tion ! And Queen Cypris too is cast into dishonour by 
this argument, from whom come to men their nearest ' and 
their dearest joys. For the Fate-sealed marriage-bed of 
man and wife is mightier than the pledge of any oath,* If 
then you are so lenient to them that slay each other as 
not to punish or to visit them with" wrath, ^ I say it is not 220 
justice of you to pursue Orestes: for in one case I observe 
you taking sharpest cognisance, and in another manifestly 
acting more remissly. — But the Goddess Pallas will review 
the justice of this case by trial. 

Fur. That man I never, never will let go ! 

Ap. Keep on pursuing then, and give thyself more trouble ! 

Fur. Seek not to abridge my rights by argument. 

Ap. I would not have them at a gift, thy rights. 

Fur. No, thou art of great account in any case beside 
the throne of Zeus. But I, because a mother's bloodshed 230 
draws me on, will pursue this man for vengeance, and thus 
set about my hounding quest. \Exeunt. 

' V. '2,11 ri yap yvvaTKas (Paley). 

'^ V, 213 9j Kdpr' &Ti^a KoX irap' ovS^v TjpKeixw MS. Perhaps jiviffu 
or ^vvcras : what one expects is ofxf'ai. 

' V. 216 tA 0(\TOTa includes both senses (100, 611), and 'closest 
tie ' is necessary for the argument. 

^ V. 218. Oath being a nlirra/ia. 

" v. 220. Reading rb p.^ TiytcrSoi ^ijS' iirotrTiitiv K^rifr with 
Meineke : cf. Horn, r 278, T 259, Eur. Or. 315, Theognis 204. 
rb IX.TI iiiXiaBai (Auratus) would do well — ' as not to care or visit them,' 
or ' as not to care even to visit tliem.' 



THE EUMENIDES II 

Ap. And I — will aid my suppliant, and rescue him ! A 
fearful thing with men and Gods alike is the Appealer's 
wrath, should I forsake him wilfully. 

An interval of at least a year is imagined to elapse (airevL- 
avTicr/j.6i). The scene is now transferred to Athens, at the 
shrine and ancient image of Athena} 

{Enter Orestes, accompanied by Hermes.) 

Orestes. Queen Athena, by the commands of Loxias am 
I come ; receive an outcast wanderer with clemency — a 
suppliant not in need of absolution, but with edge abated 
and worn off upon men's habitations ^ elsewhere and on 
travelled ways, in course of journeying over dry land and 240 
sea, preserving the injunctions of Apollo's oracle, I come 
now to thy dwelling and thine image. Goddess, here still 
keeping at my post I will abide the settlement of trial. ^ 

(The Furies enter dispersedly, questing on the trail by scent.) 

Aha, good! here are the man's traces manifest: — come 
follow by the dumb informer's evidence, — for as a hound 
pursues a wounded fawn, we track him by the (scent 
of) blood and droppings of it. And with the long ex- 

' Professor Ridgeway thinks the scene is not the image of Athena 
Polias on the Acropohs, but another sanctuary of Pallas to the south- 
east of it, outside the wall, where was held the ancient court known 
as ^'b iirl UaKKaSl<fi. His arguments are given in the Classical Review, 
October 1907. 

^ See V. 455, Eur. Or. 423-4. 

' The text, I think, is complete, only the sentence develops irregularly 
as it goes on — a thing which Aeschylus does often for dramatic purposes 
{w. 112, 905 are other examples) : $/jeTas rii (r6v must be governed 
by <j>v\i,aa()!v {v. 442 fipiras T6Se ^ffoi ^v\d(r(raii) as well as by 
upoaniii. But in v. 239 we should probably read aKK' afi$\iis fiSri 
irpoffTsTpifAfievos T6 -jrpis with Prien. 



12 THE EUMENIDES 

hausting toil my inwards blow,— for every quarter of the 
earth has been grazed over by our flock, and over the sea 
too in wingless flight I came pursuing, no whit slower than 250 
a ship. So now he must be crouching somewhere here ;— 
the smell of human blood smiles sweetly on me.^ 

Look out, look out again ! scan everywhere around, for 
fear the matricide escape in flight scot-free. 

Yes,2 here he is again ! in sanctuary, with arms entwined 
about the image of an immortal Goddess, he would fain 
submit to trial for his handiwork. 260 

But it may not be : — a mother's blood upon the ground 
is ill to gather up again, O foul, liquid spilt upon the ground 
is lost and gone ! 

Nay, thou must render from thy living self the rich red 
liquor from thy hmbs to swill; from thee would I get^ 
feeding of that evil draught. 

While yet alive I'll wither thee away and drag thee down 
below, that thou mayst pay the quittance for thy cruel 
matricide. 

^ V. 253 oaii)) ffponlav aliidrav /i€ irpoirye^ij : Trpo(ryeK^, arridet, 
is a synonym of irpoaaaXvn, which (as Jebb well says on Soph. Ant. 
1 214) could be used of that which appeals for recognition by vividly 
striking Ihe senses. aUdWet was sometimes used instead. ' Smells 
wooingly, flatteringly, gives a welcome to my sense, gives me sweet 
warrant.' 



2 v. 258 : 



(J5' aSre 7' aAfc^j/ ex^v 
•JTipl j8p6T€t TrXex^els 
deas aii^pAjov, 



The MS. gives : 

(fS auTe yovv a\Kh.v ^x^^ Trepi ^pem 
which was meant for an iambic trimeter ; whenever scribes can make 
what they consider an iambic line, they do so, often by inserting 76 
or oSv and so on. oiv was ejected here by Hermann. If the 75 is 
sound, it must mean 'Yes.' 

^ V. 266 /Soo-KKj/ t/>ipolij,av MS., doubtful. 



THE EUMENIDES 1 3 

And thou shalt see there whosoever else among mankind 
hath done iniquity, by sin against a God or a stranger or 270 
his own dear parents, suffering each the due reward of 
justice. For Hades is a great corrector of mankind below 
the earth, and taketh note of everything with mind that 
writeth it as in a book. 

Orestes. Taught in the school of sorrow, I am deeply 
read in purifying lore ; I know when it is right to speak, 
and likewise to keep silence ; but in this present matter I 
was charged to speak, by a most wise instructor : for the 
blood upon my hand is slumbering now and fading — the 280 
matricidal pollution is washed out ; for while yet fresh it was 
expelled at the bright God Apollo's hearth with purges of 
slain swine : and it would make a long tale to recount from 
the beginning all those that I have visited with harmless 
intercourse.! So likewise now it is with pure lips innocently 
that 1 call upon this country's Queen, Athena, to come 
hither to my aid : without spear lifted, she shall win both 
me and my country and the Argive people in true honest 290 
friendship and alliance absolutely. O whether then it be 
in Libyan regions of the earth, about her natal stream of 
Trito's flood that she be planting an erect or covered foot,^ 

' Here in the MS. follows a proverbial line from elsewhere, XP^""! 
KaBaipii -irdfTa yriptiaKav S/j-od, ' Time in his ageing course destroyeth 
all." 

^ V. 294 TlBrtffiv opBhj/ i) Karripe(pri v6Sa. This is the literal trans- 
lation of the words, but what precisely they imply it is not easy to be 
certain. Some (as Paley, Liddell and Scott s.v. opSis, Verrall) take 
bp96v to mean ' advanced beyond the skirt. ' There are these difficulties 
— that the antithesis to KaxTjpe^^ one would expect rather to be yv/iv6y, 
and that 6p8^ -iroSi elsewhere (so far as I can find) means always redo 
talo, upright in standing or walking as opposed to lying down or 
sitting. \jAi KaTnp^<l>V 'not covered,' would be easier. I cannot help 
suspecting that in any case there is an allusion of some kind to Homer 
Z 92, where a ire'irAos (as at the Panathenaea) is to be offered to Athena : 
Biwai 'AdjjvaiTjs iirl yovvaffiv TjvKiifioio : 



14 THE EUMENIDES 

succouring her friends, — or whether like a man that is a 
marshal bold she be surveying the Phlegraean Plain, O may 
she come — a God can hear though he be far away — to be 
my deliverer from this affliction. 

Fur. Never shall Apollo or Athena's might deliver thee, 
but thou shalt be abandoned utterly and lost, finding the 300 
place of gladness in thy heart no more.^ 

Dost thou not even answer, but contemn my words, 
a victim fatted up for me and consecrated? While yet 
living thou shalt make me banquet, and not slain beside the 
altar ; and thou shalt hear now a spelling hymn to bind 
thee to us. 

Come now, let us join hands in the dance, for we are 
purposed to shovy forth a dismal minstrelsy and to expound 
our functions, how this band of ours administers the affairs 31C 
of men. Just and upright we consider that we are ; ^ when 
a man displayeth openly clean hands and pure, no wrath 
from us proceeds against him, and he passes through the 
course of hfe unscathed ; but when he hath committed sin 
as this man hath, and privily concealeth hands defiled with 
blood, then do we arise to lend an upright witness to the 320 
dead, and to exact the price of bloodshed thoroughly. 

Mother who didst give me birth, O Mother Night, to be 
a Punishment to them that are in dark, to them that are in 

here the reading iiA yovviKriv gave rise to a debated question whether 
the Palladium was a standing or a seated figure : see Strabo 6oo, 
Libanius iv. 1115-6. 

^ After this line the MS. gives : 

avai^aTOV fi6(rK'ij^a 5atfi6vwv ffKld' 
'the bloodless meat of Spirits below, a shadow.' If it belongs to this 
passage at all, it would come best after v. 305 ovSe Trphs 3a>/*^ a-(t>ay€ls, 
' and not slain at altar ' ; but I suspect that it was quoted in the margin 
as a parallel. 

^ ei/BvSlKatoi S' olSfieO' elvai' 
cf. oU/ifSa in Thuc. v. I05, vofilCo/xey in i. 70. 



THE EUMENIDES IS 

day, give ear ! Because the son of Leto seeketh to deprive 
me of my rights, by taking from my grasp this cowering 
hare, the rightful expiation for a mother's blood. 

Over the victim is chanted this ditty, to madden the 330 
brain, distract the sense, and Wight the mind, a hymn that 
from the Furies comes, fettering the will, untuned with harp, 
and withering men away. 

For this is what the thread of Fate throughout all time 
continuing assigned to be our office in perpetual possession 
— those among Mankind that have incurred the wanton act 
of kindred bloodshed,^ upon such to wait until he pass 340 
below the earth, — and after death he is not over-free. 

Over the victim is chanted this ditty, to madden the 
brain, distract the sense, and blight the mind, a hymn that 
from the Furies comes, fettering the will, untuned with harp, 
and withering men away. 

These offices were sealed by Fate upon us at our birth : — 
but from the Gods Immortal to refrain our hands : there is 350 
none that shares the banquet with us, and in pure-white 
raiment I have neither part _nQr lot : for my province is the 
wrecking~of a house, when war domestic hath destroyed a 
kinsman. 

^Even so are we now setting upon him,^ and lusty though 
he be, yet do we make him faint and dim at last.^ 360 

^ dyaTWV roiffiv avTovpyicti 
^vfjiireo'ucriv fidraioi 
(Turnebus) seems to be the right correction of SvarSiv Toicriv avrovpyiais 
^ifjLiraaaiaiv fidraiot. — ^vfiTreiraiffiv is used euphemistically (like ^vfi^opd) 
with irony. 

2 Reading M rhv SS' Ujitvai with E. Ahrens. 
^ This is the main sense clearly ; the MS. gives : 
ejri jhv S SiifiivaL 
Kpariphv 6v6' dfioias 
fiavpov/j.iy u0' alfj.aTos yeov — 
of which the last part is a paraphrase of the original. 



l6 THE EUMENIDES 

And while I am eagerly seeking to relieve another of this 
troublesome office,^ and upon concerns of mine to seal the 
Heavenly Gods' exemption, without coming to inquiry^ — 
Zeus hath rejected from his conversation this ^ gory and 
abominable tribe ' 

< Wrecking of a house, when war domestic hath destroyed 
a kinsman : 

Even so are we now setting upon him, and lusty though 
he be, yet do we make him faint and dim at last. > 

Glories of men,^ for all their grandeur in the light of day, 
waste again beneath the earth and dwindle in dishonour, 370 

^ Xen. Oyr, vii. I. 44 rh fxev eiri Kpotirov ffuffTpanieiv o0eA.eiV fftpitriv 

^ This passage, in a text which cannot be relied upon, is extremely 
difficult to deal with, and the version given here is only tentative. 
The MS. has : 

(nr€u5o)Lt€j/o (altered to {Tiret'Srf/tej/ai) 5' a<pi\itv riya rdcrSe fi^piftyas 
QiStv 5' areKitav ifiaitFL Knats iiriKpaiyiLv 
/iTlS' els SiyKpiffiv eAflfiy. 
With areXeiav and els &yKpi(yiv eXdeiv^ it looks as though we had 
allusion to the Liturgies or Public Duties at Athens, and the legal 
right, which any citizen charged with such a liturgy possessed, of 
calling on some other person to perform it, as being better able to 
support the burden. The dispute between the rival claimants to 
immunity (oreAciai) was adjudicated by the magistrates (SiaSinairia). 
As the text stands, therefore, the Erinyes appear to say : ' We are not 
only willing, but anxious, to relieve the Celestials of this Liturgy, 
and to undertake the charge ourselves, without waiting for them to 
challenge us before a magistrate.' 

The comparison of the Gods' concern for human affairs to a Liturgy 
is made by Lucian ii. 760 : elToc koL irpovoeiv rSav KaB' rjfias irpayni.Tav 
ov naa-iv iS6Kovii ot Oeol, aK\' ^ffdi/ Tives 01 rrjs (rvfiiraff-qs 4Tnfi.f\tlas 
aiiToiis a<t>i4vTiS, &avip i))i.iis eldBajiev airo\ietv rau KuTOvpytav Tohs 
7rapri^Tjic6Tas. 

ifiais fieKerats was conjectured by H. Voss : and there ought, I 
think, to be a caesura after e/xah. 

'^ S((fai, t' avipZv, 'seemings' or 'conceits,' appearances or reputa- 
tions. 



THE EUMENIDES 17 

before the onset of our sable raiment and the malignant 
dancing of our feet.^ 

For with vigorous leap high from aloft down I alight with 
nimble foot, ah, heavy the fall ! with legs that, though the 
runner be swift, trip him to his dire confusion. 

And while he falleth, yet doth a man know it not,^ from 
the disease of folly ; so thick the gloom in which pollution 380 
hovers over him ; a cloud of darkness hanging as it were 
above his house becomes the theme of many a sighing 
tale. 

For it abideth.^ Able are we to contrive and to effect, 
and with long memories for evil, Awful Ones and inexorable 
to men, administering a chosen province though rejected 
with dishonour* by the Gods Above and separated from 

^ opXIo'M"'* '^' eiri(l>66voLs TroS6s : the following passage is in the 
measure of the Cretic hyponheme and was danced to it : cf. Athenaeus 
631 C ^ 5' i^TTopx'J^aTfK'^ IsTiv iv y &5a>i' 6 xop^s opx^trai, Soph. 
A/. 700 Kycfitri' opx'flfia.Tai and Hesychius Kv^tna K&ha : Tcfc opx7?/taTiK(i 
(so read for Sp/iTiTiKd). 

^ In the blindness caused by ''Arrj : Soph. Ant. 583. 

^ /leVei MS. I consider Dobree's /ifAei ydp very probable, — 'we 
see to it,' make it our care, our business: ixsKiiv, faiKeaBai, jaXeToip 
were almost technical terms in this connection. 

* V. 388 : 

Sri/i' aTierai Si6fi,ivai 
XaXV 9^^" Sixo(rTaTodiiT' 

There is apparently an iambus or a trochee more than there should be. 
I am inclined to eject Aox') : then (with Weil's reading in 388) we get : 

^Ti/xa Tiofiif ttTierai 

^ecDy Sixof^TaTovvr' ayT)\itf Aairo;. 
Kiftirai was corrected by Wieseler to xiirq. on account of metre. 
\ilvKi\ and AafiirdSris were the forms in later use, but AcCtttj {pituita) is 
preserved in nine places by the MSS. of Hippocrates and by the MSS. 
of Athenaeus 132 E in a line of Diphilus : 

irdpTis )8Aix«'"^5eis tiVl Kal faffTol \a7rr)s. 
I cannot tell why editors should have been so chary of accepting the 

2 



1 8 THE EUMENIDES 

them by the sunless mould — a province of rough travelling 390 
for the seeing and the dim of sight alike. 

Where then is the mortal that boweth not in awe and 
terror of these things, when he heareth from my lips that 
Ordinance that was conferred upon me by the Gods beneath 
the seal of Fate with fullest powers? I have a grant of 
antique privilege, nor do I meet with any lack of honour, 
though my place appointed is below the earth and in the, 
sun-forsaken gloom. 

(Enter Athena.) 

Ath. Far off I heard the cry of an appeal to me, the 400 
distance of Scamander, while making occupation of the 
land which, be it known, the chiefs and captains of the 
Achaeans, being a great portion of the captured spoil, 
assigned unto me entire in perpetuity, as a chosen gift unto 
the sons of Theseus. Thence came I speeding with un- 
wearied foot,^ without wings, only with my bosoming Aegis 
whirring in the air — this was the car my strong young steeds 
were yoked to.^ 

Beholding here a strange new company of visitants — I 
feel not any fear at all, but wonder is before mine eyes, — 410 
what can ye be ? I speak to all in common — both to this 

correction here, or why Mr Sidgwick should call the word a very late 
one, and ' the strain of meaning very harsh, and the word in the last 
degree unlikely.' It meant a viscid, mucous slime, such as gathers on 
the top of stagnant or fermented liquids, like the ' mother ' (7poCs, 
Mirayos) on boiled milk or vinegar, or the scum on Shakespeare's 
' filthy-mantled pool ' : and in descriptions of Hell, or places that 
resembled Hell, this was a characteristic detail ; e.^. Horn. i. Dem. 
432 uTrb fi{0ij> ivpiiiivTi, Verg. Aen. vi. 462 loca senta situ. 

^ &TpvTov irSSa is an allusion to her title 'Arpi/TtSi/?). She was called 
&TpvTos h nAxV '" ^ fragment quoted by Hesychius. 

^ irdKois axixaiois t6ii5' eVifeuJatr' ix""! ' No other car, no other 
steeds have I ' (Drake). The ' deictic ' T((v5e is equivalent to a 
' limiting ' epithet. 



THE EUMENIDES IQ 

person seated at my image, and of you, that are like to no 
begotten seed,^ that are not beheld by Gods among the 
Goddesses, nor yet resemble any shapes of human kind : — 
but to speak ill of one's neighbour when with no ground 
of complaint 2 transgresses equity, and Justice holds aloof 
from it. 

Fur. Thou shalt hear all in brief, Daughter of Zeus : — • 
we are the drear children of dark Night, and in our homes 
below the earth our name i s Curses?__ 420 

Ath. I am~informed of your generation and the titles ye 
are called by. 

Fur. Yes, and thou shalt presently hear my rights and 
honours ! 

Ath. I shall know them, if plainly informed. 

Fur. We drive out homicides * from their homes. 

Ath. And where does the slayer find his flying end ? 

Fur. Where joy and gladness are quite out of vogue. 

' V. 413 a-nafTthv, cf. Soph. O.C. 1534; here it includes both the 
classes specified by oBre— oi/re: had it meant some different kind it 
would have been followed by ouSe. 

^ 7^. 416 ^/to^0oi'^i'TaRobort. ^^opi^or ^vra of the MS. with riii/TreAas 
(Auratus) would of course be applicable, but the error ;nop0- for ^(f/t0- 
is very common, and here /iopfd/iaffiv has just preceded. Perhaps 
&lJion<pov was the text before the scholiast, and his note should run : 
&fiofi^os oZaa, oh 5vvi}ffri ^e 60' ols eJtrov avri^^^at, ' Being unre- 
proached, you will not be able to fling back reproach at me for what 
I have said.' 

' 'Apai, Harms invoked by imprecation. 

* i). 424 PpoTOKTOvovvTas ! 3. Stricter definition of their office would 
be aiiTOKToi/ovtiTas, and Davies thought that this is what Aeschylus 
wrote, and that ^poTOKTovovvras was substituted by a scribe who did 
not understand it. avToKrovslv, however, was in use by scholiasts 
themselves, as Supp. 271, Theb. 679 (where read lis ri ahroKTovitv). 
In v. 210 their definition is roiis ^uijTpaAoi'as 6k S6/iav eXaivoiiiv, and 
fipoKTOfovvTas ihight be mistaken for PpoTOKTOvovvras, but I do not 
feel that it was necessary to be so specific. 



,20 THE EUMENIDES 

- Ath. Is that the sort of flight that you are noising i upon 
this man ? 

Fur. Yes, for he thought fit to be his mother's murderer. 

Ath. Was there no other force whose wrath he stood in 
fear of? 

Fur. Why where could there be such incentive ^ as to 430 
niatricide ? 

Ath. There are two parties here, and half the argument. 

Fur. But wager of oath he will neither take nor tender ! 

Ath. You care more for the name of 'just' than for 
the act. 

Fur. How so? instruct me, for thou art not poor in 
subtilty. : 

Ath. I say you must not win by oaths an unjust cause.' 

Fur. Well try then and examine, and judge righteous 
judgment. 

Ath. Will ye indeed commit the settlement of the cause 
to me? 

Fur. Most surely, with respect for thee as worthy and of 
worthy parentage.* 

Ath. Sir, what answer would you return to this ? First 
tell your country and your birth and your misfortunes, and 440 
then repel this charge — if it be with confidence in justice 
that you sit here keeping your station at this image by my 
hearth, a sacred suppliant after the manner of Ixion : — give 
me a clear reply to all these questions. 

^ iTTi^poi^iiv is u hunting term, used of hallooing hounds on, like 

^ KfVTfov, ' goad ' ; see v. 469. 

^ ^- 435 T^ iJ-h SlKaia is the object, not the subject, of vixaj/ : Eur, 
fra^. 1034: 

(piv 4>ev ri vlKav ravSiX "S KC^-hi) ytpas 
TO. ^}] Sitcaia 5' us airaPTaxov Kaxdv. 
Reading nZs S' oil; aefiovaai 7' a^iap Kair' aliav, though other 
readings would give sense enough. 



THE EUMENIDES 21 

Orestes. Queen Athena, I will begin with thy last words 
and relieve thee of a great anxiety. I am not in need of 
purification, nor had I pollution on my hand when I took 
session at thine image. And I will show thee a strong 450 
te stimony j^ — it is the law that the guilty suppliant shouM 
keep silence until at purifying hands he hath been blooded 
by the slaughter of a sucking swine. Long since have we 
performed this absolution upon other houses and on other 
ways by land and water.^ 

So much for that scruple, which I thus remove. And 
for my birth, the case with that thou shalt hear forthwith. 
I am an Argive, and of my father it is well that thou 
enquirest — Agamemnon, marshaller of men in ships, with 
whom in concert thou didst make the city of Ilium to be no d60 
more a city.^ This man perished in a way that was not 
well, on his returning home, for he was slain by my black- 
hearted mother, who enveloped him in cunning trammels, 
which bare witness to his murder in the bath. 

And I, returning, — having been before that time in exile, 
— slew my mother, I will not deny it, in blood-requital for 
my dearest father. And for this work Apollo Loxias is 
jointly answerable, who, to goad my heart, forewarned me 
of dire pains, if I refused to act thus on the guilty. Now 470 
determine thou by judgment, whether I did righteously or 

1 z;. 454 : 

■ni-Kai vphs HWois tout' a(pi(paiiiSa 

oiKolffL Koi ^arOLfft KoX pvTOis iripots. 
PaToiffi is Weil's emendation for fioToiai. This is what Orestes said 
before in v. 238 : 

aW' hjx^Khs ^St] irpoimrpL^^^vos t€ trphs 

&\Koiffiv oIkois Koi Ttopivixaffiv $poTuy, 

Sfiota x^Pf^oy Kal Q6.\aff(Tav iKirepwy, 
^ V. 460 ffhv 5 (TV Tpoiav &Ko7\.iv 'lAi'ou Tr6\iv edriKas. The sentence 
would run much better without Tpoiav, which is not only superfluous 
but awkward in its place. Tpiiuv or Tpairriv would be easier. Meineke 
conjectured irp^ioi' or Trp^jjv, 'lately.' 



22 THE EUMENIDES 

no ; for before thee, whatever may be my fate, I will 
accept it. 

Ath. The matter is too grave, if any mortal man presume 
to judge it ; nor is it lawful for me either to decide a case 
of murder done in keen resentment : ^ especially since thou, 
in spite of all, art come here as a suppliant subdued and 
humble,^ purified and harmless to my house, and I have 
respect to thee as being, after all, offenceless towards my 
City ; ^ whereas the character that belongs to these is far 
from gentle,* and if they fail to win their case successfully, 48o 
the land is threatened with poison from their fierce stomachs, 
which falling on the ground will be a fearful devastating blight. 

So then the matter stands, — in either case — their abiding 
or their dismissal, — a source of grievous and perplexing 
hurt to me. However, since the matter hath alighted in 
this quarter,' I will appoint judges of homicide, reverencing^ 

1 V. 475. Reading h\v)x.-nvWov. 

^ V. 476 KuTjjpTuKiij (which the editors do not appear to have 
understood) is a synonym of aiau<i)fovi\Kuis (cf. v, 44). 

' At your age 
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble, 
And waits upon the judgment.' 

^ v. 478 aiSoSjuai (Hermann for aipoujuai) was the proper term for 
respecting the petition of a suppliant. 

* V. 479 aSroi 8' exouffi iJ.o'ipav oiix iVTrd/xireKoi/ : from ire/jiireiv in 
484 and Agam. 1189 kSijios, Suinre/tTrTor ii,ai, avyyivav 'Eptvvuy it 
would seem that the adjective had been applied to the Erinyes before 
Aeschylus, and that he was inclined to connect it with nifiLirfiv, But 
the uses of the adjective Tre'jBireAoj, and the proper name Ile'^irfAos, 
forbid. It was formed, as I have pointed out, from the root TreV-, 
and is a synonym of ire'7ra?y, — rife, mellow, mild, soft, flaccid, over-rife : 
these cover all the senses of the adjective. 

^ V. 485 ^irel 5e irpS7/ia SeSp' eTreVKTj^ev toSc : or ' come to this 
point,' as SfBpo 5' ^oxeWiTai in Suff. ^"j. 

' V. 486 alSoviihovs Prien for alpov/ievous. With this alteration 
the MS gives : 



THE EUMENIDES 23 

the of oaths, to be a Court, which I will establish 

for all time. You must call witnesses and evidence, the 
sworn supports of Justice ; and when I have chosen the 490 
best out of my citizens, I will return, to judge this matter 
well and truly.i [£xtt Athena. 

Jmr. Now will there be subversion of old ordinances, if 
the cause and injury of this matricide is to prevail ! All 
men now will be reconciled by this action to unscrupulous- 
ness, and many another suffering of their very child's inflict- 500 
ing is in store for parents in the course of time to come.^ 

For from us mortal-watching Maenads' wrath for men's 

tp6va)V StKaffToisy SpKicoy aiSov^€j/ovs 
6e(r'fj.6y, Thv els airavr' eyij 6'f]a'u xp6vov, 
which, as it stands, appears incredibly elliptic. It seems likely that 
something has dropped out either before or after Seaiiiv. 

' This must be the last line of the speech. The line which follows it 
in Cod. M was probably a fragmentary illustration of v. 486. 
2 «/. 499 : 

iroWa, S' eTUfi07rai56Tpa>Ta 
irdSea -Kpocrfievei TOKevfTLV fieTavdis Iv XP^^V' 
eTi)/»oirai5(JTpwTo is my emendation. In the MS. the novel compound 
word is broken up, as unfamiliar compounds usually were, into 
separate pieces, irvjia ira.i56rpa!Ta. There is no sense here in eru^ua : 
it could only mean 'real, genuine sufferings,' as when Oppian Hal. 
V. 305 says, T(fT6 5^ jxiv er^Tu^oy ^p<Tev 6\i8pos KoiffOios. But ervfios, 
fTiirufios, fTi6s were commonly applied to children in the sense true- 
born, e.g. 'EriO^ovrdSai (as 'ErfOKprJTfs), Ep. Kaibel 852 BouraStaiv 
irifiap, Philostr. Apoll. vi. 40 eVi t^ eTUfia Kal ^vyyevTJ rlKTeiv, Dio 
Chrys. II. 408 Heracles 6 toS Aihs irehs vUs, Soph. Track. 1064 : 

Koi fiij rh fjLr}rphs aljua ■jrpeo'^SeiJo'ps irAeoj/, 
' V. 506 : 

TreiJtreToi 5' ^Wos &\\o9ey, irpocfxavav 
TO. Tuv ireXas KaKfi, 
Xij^iv {nr6^offiv Te fi^xGuy' 
&Kiii t' ov 0e$aia, T\djj.a)V 
fidrav iraptjyopet, 
hijity is from the vocabulary of medicine, which spoke of Kn^ivipiros : 



24 THE EUMENIDES 

misdoings shall no more proceed ; I will give free scope to 
deeds of death : and one man from another, warning of his 
neighbour's evil case, shall seek to learn cessation or abate- 
ment of the trouble ; and uncertain remedies, poor man, he 
recommends in vain. "10 

No man hereafter, when smitten by calamity, need appeal 
in wailing phrase, ' O avenging Justice, O ye thrones of the 
Erinyes I ' Therefore a father^ it may be, or mother newly- 
stricken may make piteous complaint,^ because the House 
of Justice is now falling. 

There are times when Fear is well, and it should re- 520 
main still seated as a warder of the mind ; it is a good 
thing to preserve wise-mindedness ^ beneath constraint : 
and who that fostereth in his heart no sense of awe^ — 

Maximus inpl Karapxuv 254 juet^repoy T6\eo'6ie tt^vov Kti^iv t' oSwawy. 
Hesychius \a(pri<Tea>v : \Tt(,ia>v, avanavo'emv, Liban. Epist. 1434 B 
vvv juey qZv ivTivOey TrpoffKvvu) rhv 'Atr^Wufos vl6v' toC tpQivotrdipov 
Se, €i StSoiTj, T-riv re Kri^iv avTov (on the spot) koX aurhv 6^i/6ue6ai 
KOfiiCoj/Tes ^(T/xa fAiKphv uirep /xeyihav. 

^ /iJ]5€ TtS KlKKTlfTKeTU 
^VfJ.<pOp^ TCTU/tjUe^OS 

' li AlKa, l^ Bp6voL T* 'Epii/iSwi/* — 
rain6. ris rdx &»' iraT^p 
^ TGKOvtra veo-jradTjs 
oIktov oiKTiffair' — cttciS^ 
irirvii S6/J.0S A^Kay. 
It is tempting to make ivaS'li depend directly on uriSe tis KiKhriffKiTa 
and take raura — olKTia-air' as a parenthesis, ' — in such terms as these 
a parent might make piteous complaint — ,' but though rciSe is used so 
in ^^. 456, 1334, CAo. 313, we must surely have had rrfi/Se if oIktop 
is sound. 

^ traxppoyfTy is synonymous with yyavai ffiavriy, to know your place 
in relation to the Gods and to your fellow-men. 
s w. 525 : 

ris 5e jUT^Sev Iv ipdei 
Kapdiay ayarpetpay. 
The true reading is uncertain, but the sense is clear ; 702 ris ykp 
SeSoiKcbs ^TjBey iyZiKos ^poruy ; and Soph. AJ. 1073-6, 1084. 



THE EUMENIDES 25 

whether man or city equally — would still keep reverence for 
Justice ? 

Neither an ungoverned life approve thou, nor a despot- 530 
ridden J God hath everywhere assigned superiority to the 
Mean, though the ways of his administration vary. 

And I speak a word proportionate : the child of Irre- 
ligiousness is Pride, in very truth ; but from Healthiness of 
mind there cometh that good Weal that all men love and 540 
pray for. 

And in general I say, Revere the Altar of Righteousness, 
and beware lest at the sight of gain thou spurn and trample 
it with godless foot ; for punishment shall surely follow ; 
the appointed end abides in store. Therefore let each man 
be one that duly holdeth his parents in high worship 
and hath reverence for that freedom of his house ^ by which 550 
he doeth honour to the stranger. 

The man that of his own free will is righteous, and 
without compulsion, shall not be unblest ; and utterly 
destroyed can never be : but the bold reckless man that in 
defiance carrieth aboard much freight in a great mass 
confused without regard to Right perforce in time I tell you 
shall haul down his sail,^ when trouble comes upon it and his 
yard is shattering. • 560 

' t". 550. This is the meaning of SafidTuv iincrTpoipds, ' the run of 
the house ' ; Tke&. 635, Agam. 963. 

^ T^j/ kvT'iroKnov Se 0a^t irap^dMav 
rh, ir<fA\* ^yovra •KavT6fpvpT^ dv^v SUas 

&yovTa was supplied by Pauw, but has been strangely misinterpreted 
by many critics — ' acting in most instances,' ' wresting most things 
away from justice,' ' bringing,' ' dr^ging.' It means (in the metaphor) 
' with a cargo of possessions in which all distinctions of right and wrong 
are confounded.' Pialas would go as well with this clause as with the 
other ; cf. Hesiod Op. 220, Pindar y^a^. 169 in Plat. Gor^. 484 B. tb 
jroAA.i£ is idiomatic in this sense, e.^. Callim. /i. ApoU. 108 : 



26 THE EUMENIDES 

Behold, in the midst of the wild waters that he cannot 
stem he calls upon the name of them that will not hear : 
his Fortune-Spirit laughs at the hot-headed man, to see 
the fool, that boasted he should never come to this, brought 
low with his distresses and not weathering the point : dashing 
his one-time wealth upon the shoal of Justice, he is lost 
eternally, unwept, unseen. 

The Areopagus. 

Athena. Herald, perform thine office and control the people, 
and let the piercing Tyrrhene ^ trumpet, filled with human 570 
breath, declare his intense utterance to the throng : for while 
this council-chamber is filling, it is expedient to keep silence 

'Affffvpiov Ttoraixoio /xeyas ^6os, dAAa to iroWa 
\vfiaTa 7^s Kal iroWhy iip^ vSari trvpfp^Thv eXKet, 
I'ers. 272. 
^ This line is mutilated in the MS. : 
•"H- 

git' oSf BitiTOpOS TvptTTjJ/lKTJ 

ffd\T7iy^. 
0poT(iov TTvfvjxaTos which follows seems to require something heavenly 
or divine as an antithesis ; and the general view is plausible, that oZv 
is a corruption of oipap6s {ovvos) ; but it is not likely that Siiropos 
should govern a genitive oipapov, and an objection to ds ohpavhr Si is 
that we miss then the article 7}, which in this place sounds so good at 
the beginning of the line. % t' olipavda is not inconceivable, or some 
compound adjective. — Dr Verrall has conjectured 'Epiovviov Si, 'the 
Tyrrhene trump of Hermes,' but this, I fear, would be attributing to 
Hermes a new theft. To Hermes were ascribed the invention of the 
single reed-pipe and (by some) of the lyre ; but with the trumpet, even 
of the six kinds known to the grammarians, I cannot find that he had 
anything to do. The brazen trumpet, which was among the products 
of Tyrrhenian and Argive bronze-work, was Athena's own. At Argos 
she was worshipped as 'Adriva SaXiriyl, and when trumpeters make a 
dedication of the instrument, it is to her: Anth. Pal. vi. 151, 159, 194, 
195. She might therefore have said koX rovfihy tSpi/^u', rj rophs Ti/po-TjcHcJ) 
trdxiny^. 



THE EUMENIDES 27 

and that my ordinances should be learnt by all the city for 
time everlasting and by these parties,^ to the end that justice 
may be well determined. 

{Enter Apollo.) 

Fur. Lord Apollo, keep to thine own province ! what 
business hast thou in this matter, tell us ? 

(' Ap. I come both to give testimony — for the accused 
here is a suppliant at my house and at my sanctuary, and 580 
I am the purifier of this bloodshed — and myself to share 
the trial; I am answerable for his mother's killing. {To 
Athena.) Open thou the case. 

Ath. {to the Furies). The word is with you — I am 
opening the case ; for the pursuer to begin by speaking first 
will be the right way to inform us of the matter. 

Fur. We are many, but we will speak concisely. {To 
Orestes.) Reply, sentence by sentence, to our questions. 
First tell us, didst thou slay thy mother ? 590 

Or. I did so ; of that ^ there is no denial. 
Fur. Here is one of the three bouts already ! 
Or. I am not down yet ; you boast too soon. 
Fur. Well, but you must tell us how it was you slew her. 
Or. I tell you, — with a drawn sword stabbing her in the 
throat. 

Fur. But under what influence and by whose advice ? 
Or. By this God's oracles ; he bears me witness. 
Fur. The Prophet gave thee instruction to do -matricide I 
Or. Ay, and to this hour I am not sorry for it. 
Fur. Ah but if the verdict grips thee thou wilt tell 600 
another tale ! 
/ Or. I have trust \ my father will send succour from the / 
I grave. ^HSh s ^ lA^^rOjOy^^CJL ^ / >t^f«3ur ^ -fk^ 

\ 1 Reading «aUo^^5'. '^^'''^^'^ ^^P-^ ^ ^C 

" rovSe y' oStis &pvn(ris ire'Xei Nauck.£>^^-#l^'g' / 



28 THE EUMENIDES 

Fur. Put trust now in the dead, after murdering thy 
mother ! 

Or. Because she lay under the attaint of two pollutions. 

Fur. How so ? Instruct the court. 
/f^ Or. She was her husband's murderess, and killed my 
fffather. 

' Fur. Very well, — she is quit by suffering death, while jt'w 
are living. 

Or. And why did you not drive her in chase when living? 

Fur. She was not blood-relation of the man she killed. 

Or. And am /in blood-relation to my mother? 

Fur. Why how else bred she thee, thou bloody man, 
within her girdle ? Dost thou disown the nearest tie of 
mother's blood? 610 

Or. Now for thy witness, O Apollo ! Give thy pronounce- 
ment, whether I was justified in killing her — for that- I did 
it, as I said before,^ I do not deny, — but whether it was 
justly done or not, this act of blood, in thy opinion, give 
thy judgment, that I may inform the court. 

Ap. I will declare it before you, this great tribunal of 
h.^&rvA.— justly : and I am a prophet and my words are 
truth. Never upon my seat of oracle did I yet speak aught, 
whether it were concerning man or woman or people, that 620 
had not been commanded me by Zeus the Father of the 
Heavenly Gods. How weighty is the force that this plea 
carries I would have you understand, and charge you be 
obedient to my Father's will ; for Oath has not more 
potency than Zeus ! 

Fur. Zeus, sayest thou, delivered thee this oracle for thee 

^ V. 614 SpScrai 70P, SxTirep e?iroy, ovk cipvoifieBa' He had said this 
twice already, vv. 466-471, 591. The MS. gives So-irep ^o-t^',' which 
means nothing. It was Greek to say SpSirai ydp, iiirirep eSpaffa, or 
eJyat ytipt So'irep eimv, but not SpatraL ydp^ Sxrinp eCTij', Davies 
restored thov, but the editors have disregarded it. 



THE EUMENIDES 29 

to tell Orestes here, that he should revenge his father's 
death regardless wholly of his duty to his mother ? 

Ap. Ay ! for it is a very different thing, the killing of a 
noble man, exalted with the sceptre of God-given royalty,— ' 
and that too by a woman's hand— not with the gallant far- 630 
shot arrow like an Amazon's, but in the manner ye shall 
hear, thou, Pallas, and ye judges here in session to decide 
about this matter with your vote. 

On his returning from the field, with the balance of 
advantage for the most part to the good, she gave him 
welcome first with words of kindness ; and then, as he was 
performing his ablutions in the bath, and at the end of 
them, she cloaked a garment like a tent about his head,^ 
entangled him in the cunning endless robe, and hewed him 
down. 

That is the story of the Man's destruction, that all- 640 
venerated ruler, that great admiral ; and the woman I have 
described in such a character ^ that the people may be stirred 
to indignation that have been appointed to decide this trial. 

' v. 634: 

hir)) (TTpaT^ias yiip viv, 7iiMtro\7jK6Ta 
TO ■7r\e'iiTT^ &fJ.sivoy, cijfppoffiv dsd^yfiet/Tj 



SpotTr] irepwfTt \ovTpa Kairl repfiari 

tpapos irepiO'K'fivwcre, 
There is certainly a lacuna here of one line, if not more. The missing 
passage must have contained jxiBois or x6yots to agree with ti<f>po(nv, 
and iv to govern Spoirrt : it may have contained a description of 
Clytemnestra and another finite verb : see Class. Rev. 1903, p. 290. 

KaTi(TKi]vaa( is possible. 

, '^ Tairrtv ToiaiT-qv ehov MS. 54 is necessary, but as Clytemnestra is 
not present, we cannot merely read Ta\iTt\v Toiairrtv S' : either we must 
have T^v S' aZ Totairriv ehov (Weil), or, more probably, a line has 
fallen out, e.^. : 

tJjj* S' aS yvvfxiKa T'^v KarairrvtrToy Beo'is 

Tairriv TotaiiTrjt' il-Kov, 



30 THE EUMENIDES 

Fur. Zeus, as you argue, holds a father's killing of the 
more account ; yet he himself cast his old father Cronos 
into prison : is there not a contradiction there ? — I call 
upon you judges to take note. 

Ap. O ye most loathsome monsters, Heaven's abhorrence ! 
fetters he might undo, there is a remedy for that, and many 
a means of deliverance again ; but when a man is once dead 650 
and the dust hath swallowed up his blood, there is no more 
rising again then : for that my Father Zeus hath made no 
heaUng charm, though all things else he re-disposes and 
turns upside down without his labour costing him a 
breath. 

x^ Fur. See now what thy plea for his acquittal means : — 
shall he spill upon the ground his mother's blood and then 
inhabit his father's house in Argos? What altars of the 
public shall he use ? What holy water of religious Brethren 
shall admit him ? 

Ap. That too I will declare, and mark how rightly. The 660 
mother is not the engenderer of her so-called ' generation ' 
(child), but the nurse only of the sown conception.^ It is 
the male engenders; she doth but receive, as from a 
stranger, harbouring as a host, and keeps the young plant 



' V. 66i : 

ovK iisri fiTiTrjp tj K€K\Tjfj.evov rcKvov 
roKiiLis, Tpo(pbs Se K^fiaros Vio(Tir6pov. 
tIkt^i 5' 6 8p(^(7Kav. 
Tov KiKX-q/ieyov t4kvov would be intelligible, and may be the true 
reading. 

The doctrine was Egyptian, according to Diodorus i. 8o : v66oy 5' 
ouSeca rSiif yeyi/T]6fi/Twv voixi^ovffiv, ovS' t.v 4^ apyvpujffjTOv flTJTphs 
y€VfT]d^' Ka9^\Qv ycip viT^iKi)(pix(Ti rhv irarepa fi6vov airtoy e'iyai t^s 
yeveffiois, riiv Se juijTe'pa rpo<j>)]y RoX x<^/""' f-ilyoy irapfx^trSai Tif fip^cpei' 
Kal Twv SeySpay a^ptva. jxey Ka\ov<ri rlt Kapvo^6pa, 8n\€a Se ri fii) 
(pepoyra Toils xapirovs, eyayrlus roTs "EWrjfft. It was also Pythagorean, 
Stob. Ftor. i, 64. 



THE EUMENIDES 3 1 

safe, unless God blight it.i And I will show thee a great 
proof of this : there may be a father without aid of mother, 
— here at .hand is a witness, in a Child of Zeus, < neither 
begotten in wedlock > ^ nor yet nurtured in the darkness 
of the womb, but such a plant as no goddess could give 
birth to. 5 

Pallas, as always it shall be my aim to make thy city and 670 
thy people great, so with this man, it was to that end that I 
sent him to seek sanctuary in thy house, that he might be a 
faithful friend eternally, and that thou. Goddess, mightest 
gain thee an ally in him and his successors, and that it 
should be established everlastingly, the posterity of this 
people to uphold their covenant. 

Ath. Has enough now been said, and may I now 
command these judges to give an honest vote, of their true 
conscience ? * 

Fur. For our part, our every bolt is shot ; I only wait to 680 
hear how the trial is to be decided. 

Ath. {to Apollo and Orestes). And you ? how shall I 
dispose so as to have no complaint from you ? 

^ otai fiii 0\a<firi Se6s, keeps it safe /or those in whose case God 
prevents not. 
^ A line beginning with ou has fallen out : 

7re\as 
fjiAprvs irdpea'Ti irals 'OAvfiirtov Aids, 
< ov . . . . . > * 

ouS' ey CK^roLfft vTjd'Lios TedpafifJi^yq, 
as Coluthus l8o, of Athena, ^v ydfios ovk etrneipG koX ov fjiaitixraTO 
H^flT-np. Without it, oliSi could only mean ' not even.' 
' Athena was born out of the head of Zeus. 

* As the passage stands, it seems that this speech of Athena's must be 
taken as a question ; but in the Greek it reads more like a declaration : 
' Enough has now been said ; I now command these judges to give an 
honest vote, of their true conscience.' One may suspect that this was 
the original form, and that the passage has been subjected to some re- 
fashioning. See Wecklein's note in his text, p. 449. 



32 THE EUMENIDES 

Ap. Sirs, ye have heard what ye have heard, and in giving 
your vote let there be reverence in your conscience for 
your oath. 

Hear now my Ordinance, ye people of Athens, judging 
here the first trial for shed blood : and for the future too 
it shall remain unto the people of Aegeus as a Judges' 
Court for ever. And this Hill of Ares,i — once the camping- 
ground of the Amazons, when they came, out of jealousy 
towards Theseus, with an army, and they built here then a 
new walled city as a counterwork to his, and sacrificed to 690 
Ares — from which cause the rock and hill of Ares take 
their name of Ares' Hill? And upon it Reverence in my 
Burghers, and its kinsman Fear, shall restrain from wrong- 
doing both by day and night alike : — so long as my citizens 
themselves shall make no innovation in the laws ; with foul 
adulterate streams and muddy clay polluting fair bright 
water thou wilt never find it drinkable. 

The mean between the ungoverned and the despot-ridden 
is what I counsel my citizens to preserve and venerate, and 700 
not to banish from the city all restraint of fear, — for what 
man that hath no fear of aught is righteous ? With such a 
venerated object of your righteous dread, ye will possess 
a bulwark of preservation for your land and polity such 
as none hath elsewhere in the world, either among the 
Scythians or in the region of Pelops.^ Herewith do I 
establish a^ Tribunal free from touch of lucre, reverend, quick 
to anger, a protection still awake and vigilant on behalf of 
them That sleep. 

This at such length I have spoken as an exhortation to 710 

^ Prof. Ridgevvay would translate ^ yon Hill of Ares,' holding that the 
scene of the trial is not the Areopagus : see note on v. 235. 

'^ The construction is never completed, but is allowed to lapse forgotten 
after parenthetic clauses introduced by relatives ; see note on v. 68. 

' The rival Dorians ; cf. Soph. O. C. 695. 



THE EUMENIDES 33 

my citizens for time to come : — you must now rise, take 
each of you his ballot, and decide the cause with reverence 
for your oath. — My words are ended. 

Fur. Well, I advise you to remember how dangerous 
these visitants are,- and by no means to slight them. 

Ap. And / charge you also — to remember the oracles — 
which are not from me only but from Zeus, to stand in awe 
of them, and not make them barren of effect. 

Fur. But thou art showing regard for blood-matters which 
are not thine office,^ and the shrines will be no longer pure 
where thou shalt give thine oracles.^ 

Ap. And are my Father's counsels, then, mistaken in 720 
Ixion's case, the first suppliant appeal for homicide ? 

Fur. You talk : — but if I fail to win the cause, my 
visitation shall be grievous to this land thereafter. 

Ap. Nay, you are honourless among the younger and the 
older Gods alike, and I shall win. 

Fur. This is just the way you acted in the house of 
Pheres, — you induced the Fates to make mortal men 
immortal ! 

Ap. Well, is it not right at all times to befriend a 
worshipper, and the more especially in his time of need ? 

Fur. Thou, thou didst quite destroy the ancient Dispensa- 730 
tions ^ and beguile the antique Goddesses with wine. 

Ap. Thou, thou wilt presently fail to obtain the verdict, 
and then spit thy poison — which will do thy enemies no 
harm. 

Fur. Since thou, my junior, art trampling upon my 
antiquity, I wait to hear the verdict of this trial. 

Ath. It is now my duty, to give judgment in conclusion ; 
and I shall add this ballot in favour of Orestes : for there is 

^ V. 718 ou Kaxiiv: Ar. Plut. 972, Plato Com. frag. 167 a-raf ov 
\ax'>»' o^Lois eA.axes. 
2 See V. 173. 

3 



34 THE EUMENIDES 

no mother that gave birth to me, and I am for the male in 740 
everything — except for fnarrying — with all my heart, and am 
most thoroughly the father's child. Accordingly I shall not 
hold of more account the killing of a woman wed that slew 
her wedded man, the master of the house; Orestes is the 
winner of the cause, even though he be judged equal in the 
voting. 

Turn out the ballots from the urns, ye judges that have 
been assigned that office. 

Or. O bright God, Apollo, how will the trial be 
decided ? 

Fur. O Night, our Mother dark, dost thou behold ? 

Or. Now it will be for me the light of day still, or a 
halter. 

Fur. Ay, for us, using privileges still, or ruin. 750 

Ath. Sirs, count up well the cast-out ballots, observing 
honesty in the division of them. If judgment be absent, 
there is great harm done, and the cast of a single vote ere 
now hath lifted up a house. 

Ath. The accused man is acquitted on the charge of 
blood, for the number of the lots is equal. 

Or. O Pallas, O thou Saviour of my House ! I was 
bereft of fatherland, and thou hast given me a home : and 
now in Greece it shall be said, ' The man is again an 760 
Argive, with a habitation in his father's heritage, by the 
grace of Pallas and of Loxias and of Him who sealeth all 
things, the Preserver ' : — He hath had regard unto my 
father's killing, and preserveth me, beholding these my 
mother's advocates. 

To all this country now and to thy people I, for the 
utmost fulness of all time to come, before departing to my 
home, will pledge an oath : No captain of the Argive land 
shall ever bring the well-appointed army to invade her : for 
we ourselves, out of the grave where we shall then be lying 770 



THE EUMENIDES 35 

— we, for them that shall transgress these pledges of 
mine now, will so contrive with hopeless difificulties — by 
causing them disheartened journeys and cross-omened 
marches^ — that they shall repent their pains. But if all 
be kept, and they still honour this city of Pallas with 
their allied arms, we promise then to be benignant rather 
to them. 

And so farewell ; may thou and the people of thy city 
still maintain the wrestling-grip resistless by thine adver- 
saries, to ensure her safety and her victory in arms ! 780 

Fur. Oho, ye younger Gods, ye have ridden down the 
Ancient Laws and reft out of my grasp ^ .... And I, 
unhappy wretch, dishonoured, promise deadly wrath, upon 
this land ah ! venting from my bosom poison, poison in 
revenge that they shall rue, droppings of sterile power to 
the soil ! And from it shall come mildew, killing leaf and 
killing birth — O vengeance of Justice ! — that shall sweep 
over the land and cast upon the country foul infectious 790 
plagues of human death ! 

Bewail? How act? Be fearful to this people — O fie. 
Daughters of Night, in deep affliction, mourning for the loss 
of honour ! 

Ath. Let me persuade you not to take it so tragically. 
Ye are not defeated; the trial resulted honestly in equal 
votes, to no dishonouring of thee ! No, it was from Zeus 800 
there came most signal testimony, and its deliverer himself 
bare witness, that Orestes if he did this should not suffer 
any harm. Ye, therefore, be not passionate, shoot no 
1 V. iTi : 

irapapvidas -K^povs 

Find. Nenit ix. 18 alcriap oit Kar opvix<t>v 6Z6v kt€. 

^ V. 782 KM x^P^'' i'iM(r64 fnov : Abresch thought that there was a 
line missing here: cf. 150 se^^., 325, Homer I 344 vvv S' eVel 4k 
Xdpav y4pas tfAero Kai /J,' avd-ntaev. 



36 THE EUMENIDES 

deadly wrath upon this land, nor cause her barrenness, by 
discharging droppings . . . .^ sharp cankers to destroy her 
cultivated seed. For I do promise you in all sincerity that 
ye shall have a place of cavern in the righteous land, where 
at your braziers ye shall sit on splendid thrones, worshipped 810 
with honour by my citizens. 

Fur. Oho, ye younger Gods, ye have ridden down the 
Ancient Laws and reft out of my grasp .... And I, 
unhappy wretch, dishonoured, promise deadly wrath, upon 
this land ah ! venting from my bosom poison, poison in 
revenge that they shall rue, droppings of sterile power to 
the soil ! And from it shall come mildew, killing leaf, and 
killing birth — O vengeance of Justice ! — that shall sweep 
over the land and cast upon the country foul infectious 820 
plagues of human death ! 

Bewail ? How act ? Be fearful to this people — O fie. 
Daughters of Night, in deep affliction, mourning for the 
loss of honour ! 

Athena. Ye are not dishonoured ! and do not therefore in 
exceeding wrath, being divine powers, make a land of 
mortal men distempered.^ I too put my trust in Zeus — I 

' Reading: 

u/ieTs Se ^^ 6ufLOV(r9e, fi^ fiapbv k6tov 
€1/ T^8e 7^ (TK^i/zTiTe, juTjS' CLKapirlav 

2 V. 827 : 

jUTjS' iiTTipBvfxws 6.yaiV 

KTio-riTi (Linwood's correction of o-r^o-TiTe) is a synonym of BrJTe or 
TTui^o-rjTe, and a favourite use with Aeschylus. The precise sense that 
he attached to Sia-KriKov cannot be determined, but I feel sure the word 
is genuine, for this reason : — there were several Epic words in icijA- 
whose meaning was a matter of debate, — Krj\ov and irepiKr)\os, and 
aiK-fiXia in 2 77 (though that, no doubt, was merely an Epic license 
for aeiKeAia, like oirepeftria for direipeVia). Aeschylus therefore was 
at liberty to charge the word with various suggestions, including the 



THE EUMENIDES 37 

need not say it — and I alone among the Powers of Heaven 830 
know the keys of the store-chamber in which the Thunder- 
bolt is sealed up : — but there is no need of that ; ^ thou wilt 
yield, I pray, to my persuasion, and not cast forth over the 
land from an unbridled tongue (the curse) that all things 
bearing fruit should fail to prosper.^ Calm the fierce bitter- 
ness of the dark swelling wave,^ as being held in honour 
and veneration, and partaker in abode with me. Enjoying for 
evermore the first-fruits of this broad domain, as offerings 
for the sake of children and the marriage-rite, you shall yet 
applaud my saying. 

Fur. Me to be treated thus ! me with the wisdom of 840 
antiquity ! and to have my habitation in the land, a dis- 
honoured thing, forsooth, and foul ! My spirit is full of 
fury and utter wrath. What pang is this that enters my 

K/jAiSas of V. 820, — stained, scorched, withered {aliovd v. 334), plagued, 
enchanted. His admirer Ion (Nauck, Trag. Frag. p. 571) used 
eiKriKos of a tree, as an equivalent of tvKearos {which was interpreted 
easy to burn, or easy to split), and Hesychius records the use of K7)Xis 
in the sense of Ki]\tos. 

^ A delightful touch of humour, ' — but of course we shall not want 
that.' 

^ yX^ffSTis naralas /lii 'k^Axtis eirl x^'^"" 
Kapirhp (pepoyra ntivra fi^ irpiiffaiiv Ka\S>s. 
KapirSv cannot belong, as many critics have constructed it, to yXilitraris, 
' the fruit of a rash tongue, bearing the fruit that everything should fail 
to prosper ' ; fruit does not bear, but is borne : TiSfVTa, ' causing,' 
would be Greek, but the participle would still be 'out of order at the 
beginning of the clause in the emphatic place. Kapirhf (pipofra vavTa 
must mean wdpra tb Kapiro(pipa : that is the way in which the curse of 
the Erinyes will take effect. 

But the sentence now seems too elliptic. Prof. Ellis has conjectured 
that M x'^^""- i^ ^ mistake for 4vi(pSoya, ' malignant utterance ' (cf. 
^- 373)- I only hesitate to substitute this for €7r{ x^^""- because I think 
it not unlikely that a line has fallen out. 

^ V. 835 KiXaivov Kiii^aros wiKphy fjieyos, i.e. K\v^tIiviov x°^^^ 
Cho. 182. 



38 THE EUMENIDES 

side ? Hear thou my passioning, O Mother Night ! I have 
been reft of my time-honoured privileges by the knavish 
tricks of Gods Above and swept contemptuously away ! 

Ath. I will indulge thy humours, because thou art my 850 
senior : — at the same time, though thy wisdom is, no doubt, 
far more than mine, still to me also Zeus hath granted no 
mean understanding. ^ And I warn you, if you go to any 
foreign country, you will only fall in love with this ; for time 
in his succeeding stream shall flow with larger honour for 
my citizens ; and thou, with an honourable seat against the 
temple of Erechtheus, shalt receive from companies of men 
and women more than thou wouldst ever get from any 
others in the world. So do not, I pray you, cast upon my 860 
territories any blood-incentives, to hurt the stomachs of the 
young, maddening them with fury as with wine ; nor yet 
extract as it were the heart of fighting-cocks and plant in 
my citizens a spirit of war intestine and rash daring against 
one another. Let their warfare be abroad — it shall be 
found in plenty for the man in whose heart there shall be a 
strong desire for glory — but fight of the domestic fowl I 
will not have. 

This then is my offer at your choice — to do well, be well 
done by, honoured well, and have a share in this most God- 870 
beloved land. 

Fur. Me to be treated thus ! me with the wisdom of 
antiquity ! and to have my habitation under ground, a dis- 

1 V. 850 : 

KoXroi. ah ix4y irov Kilpr' e/toC (TOtpuTepa, 

(l>poyuv 5e Kafiol Zeuy ^Suk^v ou KaKws. 
I have corrected this in Class. Rev. 1902, p. 246 : the MS. Kalroi /ih 
av KtipT^ ^fiov iTo(pwT€pa is one among countless cases of fj.4v being 
shifted by a scribe to the beginning of a clause. The sentiment is that 
of Job xii. 2 : No doubl but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with 
you : but I have wisdom as well as you ; and of Haemon in Soph. 
Ant. 683-7. 



THE EUMENIDES 39 

honoured thing, forsooth, and foul ! My spirit is full of 
fury and utter wrath. What pang is this that enters my 
side ? Hear thou my passioning, O Mother Night ! I have 880 
been reft of my time-honoured privileges by the knavish 
tricks of Gods Above and swept contemptuously away ! 

Ath. I will not be weary of speaking blessings on you, 
that you shall never say how you, an elder Goddess, were cast 
out from this land by me, thy junior, and my mortal citizens 
with inhospitable scorn. No, if Persuasion is a thing aught 
sacred in thine eyes — the soothing charm and magic in- 
fluence of my tongue ^ — why then, remain here ; but if you 
will not, then it would surely be unfair of you to launch 
upon this city any indignation or fierce anger or injury to 890 
her folk. For it is open to you to be a landholder in this 
country with fair treatment and full privileges absolutely. 

Fur. Queen Athena, what is the abode you promise 
me? 

Ath. One free from any touch of sorrow ; you were best 
accept it. 

Fur. Say that I accept : — what privilege is there designed 
for me ? 

Ath. That without thy good will no house shall flourish. 

Fur. Wilt thou secure for me possession of such power ? 

Ath. Yes, for I will prosper the fortunes of thy 
worshippers. 

Fur. And wilt thou pledge me a warrant for all time ? 

Ath. I nefed not promise what I will not perform. 900 

Fur. I feel thy charm begin to work : — my wrath 
abates. 

Ath. Well then, abide here in the land and thou shalt win 
thee friends. 

' V. 8S7 7X(6<r<r5)S ip-^s /iilMyfia Kol BiXKriipiov. OeKKT-fipiov is a sub- 
stantive, as in Nicand. Ther. 365, iravffTiipiov ib. 746, K-i\Ki\fi[fiov 
Trachin. 575. Cf. Eur. /. T. 235 fica 0i\oi' vp6iTtl>ayi).a. «ai evT-fipiov. 



40 THE EUMENIDES 

Fur. What strain then wouldst thou have me chant upon 
the land ? 

Ath. Terms that reflect on victory without a flaw ! Call 
blessings from the earth and from the ocean-dew, and 
from the heaven ; pray that the blowing winds may pass 
over the land with sunny breath,^ that increase of the earth 
and cattle may not faint with time but flow on ever for my 
citizens in streaming plenty, and that seed of human-kind 
may be preserved. 910 

But may your fruitfulness be rather shown in the 
righteous ; ^ for, like a shepherder of herbs, I love the 
unrepented sort of these just men here present.^ 

These blessings are for thee to give, and in the glorious 
tournaments of war my heart shall never rest content but I 
will make this city famous in the world as a victorious 
town. 

Fur. I will accept the Union of home with Pallas, and 
will not reject a City which even Zeus Omnipotent and Ares 
hold as a strong fortress of the Gods, the precious jewel 920 
that protects the altars of Hellenic Deities. For her I make 
my prayer, with all benignant auspices, that life's enjoyments 

' V. 907 einKlais : see note on v. 927. — The construction alternates 
between the accusative and the accusative with infinitive ; see my note 
on CAo. 277. 

■^. 911 tSjv ^vffe^oipTwy 5' iK(l>op{ioT€pa it4\ois' extpoparepa is 
feracior, governing the genitive, 'more fertile in,' "more productive 
of ; iK<j>4peiv Kapv6v was the regular word for producing crops. This 
gives its proper sense to the comparative. 

The editors generally have retained tSiv Sv(rff(0ovpT<cv S' of the MS. 
and sought (with Schuetz) to make it mean ' more ready to weed out 
{^KKaSatpeiv, a.iroKaBalpfii'}, or cart away, the wicked,' like a gardener or 
a husbandman : but the comparative is inappropriate then ; and they 
have forgotten that the gardener is Athena ; the part of the Eumenides, 
as Earth-Powers, is to ^eiimt produce of all seed. 

^ The Areopagites, representing the Athenians. i.Tviv6t)Tov, the sort 
that brings no sorrow, causes no regret ; cf. 58. 



THE EUMENIDES 4I 

may be made to teem forth for her from the Earth in 
bounteous plenty by the beaming radiance of the Sun.^ 

Ath. It is in kindness to my Citizens that I am acting 
thus, in planting here among them Spirits so powerful and 930 
so ill-appeased ; for to their lot hath fallen the disposal of 
all things touching Man ; but he that meets with them in 
angry mood ^ knows not from what quarter come the blows 
that strike his life ; it is the offences of his forefathers that 
arrest and hale him before these, and Destruction silently, 
for all his vaunt, with deadly anger crumbles him to dust. 

Fur. May breath of evil never blow to hurt her trees — 
'tis by my grace — and may the scorching heat that nips the 940 
budding eyes of plants refrain from trespassing beyond the 
boundaries of its region;^ may no drear disease of sterile 
blight proceed against her ; may Pan make her flocks to 
thrive at the appointed season * with twinned increase, and 
may there be rich offspring of the boon Earth's wealth to 
pay reward for Spirits' gift of Treasure-trove.^ 

Ath. O hear, ye Warders of my City, how great blessings 950 
she doth seal you surely — for the Queen Erinys hath great 
power both with the Immortals and with those of Earth 
below, and in the affairs of Man most manifestly their dispose 

' The Sun conspiring with the Earth implies the reconciliation of the 
Furies with Apollo. 

^ Reading 76 /tijc Kvptras Papeay tovtwv. It is possible that some- 
thing has been lost, to the same effect as v. 313. 
' V. 942 : or ' from trespassing upon this region.' 
^ Xpivf TeTa-yfihifi, without fail at the due season, and with no 
untimely birth ; Ovid Fasti iv. 647 : 

«/ pecus ante diem partus edebat acerbos, 
agnaque nascendo saepe necabat ouem. 
" For the turn of the sentence compare Ovid Fasti iv. 931, where 
Robigo, Mildew, is addressed : 

at tu ne uiola Cererem, semperque colonus 
absenti possit soluere uota tibi. 



42 THE EUMENTDES 

is absolute, to some affording songs of gladness, and to others 
life that is a blur of tears. 

Fur. To all untimely sudden deaths I cry Avaunt ! and 
may the lives of her young lovely maidens win a husband 960 
— grant that, Ye whose proper power it is,i and Ye, O 
Heavenly Fates, our Sisters by one Mother,^ Spirits whose 
dispense is pure, participants in every home, at every season 
weighty with most righteous presence, everywhere most 
honoured among Gods of Heaven. 

Ath. My heart is glad to hear them seal these blessings on 970 
my land so zealously; and I am grateful to Persuasion's eyes for 
looking with their favourable guidance on my tongue when 
pleading with these Powers that were so wrathfully averted 
from me : nay, but Zeus of Eloquence prevailed, and our 
contention for the good is crowned with triumph absolutely. 

Fur. May Faction, that insatiable source of evil, never 
rage within this city ; never may the dust drink up the 980 
purple blood of citizens in anger ^ and for revenge seize 
greedily upon retaliating deaths of civic blood : may their 
exchanges rather be of joy for joy with sentiments of love 
in common, and dislike with one consent ; therein lies the 
cure for many human ills. 

Ath. O have they not the judgment to find out the path 
of speaking fair ? * From these Shapes of Terror I foresee 990 
great gain in store ^ for you, my Citizens : for if ye keep 

^ Zeus and Hera. 

''■ liaTpoKatnyvriTai. This and the reiterated flcal, 0(uy marks the 
harmonised agreement between the Upper and the Nether Gods. 
^ 81' opydv might go with either clause. 
* V, 989 : 

» ^pa fjipovovffL y\<iiKT(n)s ayaSris 

b^hv ei/pifTKeiv ; 
^ V. 991 : 

fi^ya KepBos 6pM ToTtrSe iroA^rais ' 
irpoffepirov is my reading for the MS. irpoffdnrav ; see _/<?«?-««/ 0^ Hellenic 



THE EUMENIDES 43 

good feeling between them and you, and hold them 
in high honour, ye shall surely shine conspicuous in the 
world for guiding land and city in the path of upright 
justice. 

Fur. Joy I wish you, joy in due apportionment of wealth, 
joy, O ye people of the City, blest with friendship of the 
Virgin who is seated near to Zeus,i learners of wise-minded- 1000 
ness in time ; and shelterers beneath the wings of Pallas, 
ye are viewed as sacred by the Father. 

Ath. Joy to you also ! But I must now go before you 
to point out your chambers by the sacred light of these your 
Escort : ^ come ye now, and with these solemn sacrifices 
being sped below the earth, what is harmful to the country 
keep down there suppressed,^ and what is profitable send 
aloft to make my city triumph ! — Lead on now, ye Sons of lOlO 
Cranaus that possess this City, lead these Denizens upon 

Studies, 1906, p. 276, note II. 'ifirnv is to be upon the road, and 
irpoo-epireH/, 4ip4piretp were used especially of time's oncoming, and what 
it promises or threatens in its course : /". V. 129, 288, Soph. Aj. 228, 
1255 Kal (Tol Trpo(r4pirov tovt' eyij rh (pdpfiaKoy dpu, O.T, 540, Find. 
jytA. i. 57, JVem. iv. 44, vii. 68, Ot. vi. ^T,frag. 131, Theocr. v. 83, 
xxii. 15, YiWr. frag. 441. 

^ V. 998. Reading with Bothe : 

Xafp«T' atrriKhs Aet^y, 

tKTap 7)p,^va.s Ai&s 

YlapB^vov <pt\as (pi\oi. 
For the reasons, see the note on my verse translation of this scene in 
A Book of Greek Verse, p. 286. 
^ V. 1006. This may be taken with the following line. 
3 V. 1008. Cf. Soph. O. C. 92. The MS. gives : 

7^ y.\v h.'Tr[p\{\(iv 

X^9o.s 
as though it meant ' the harmful part of the country ' ; we may read 
(with Paley) ri \),\v aT-qphp x'^PI'i 'what is harmful to the country,' or 
with Linwood x""?'' '"'t^'x^'" ("^f- Theocr. vii. I2y t^ /it) Kci\a v6(r<piy 
ipvKoi). Karexi'v and the adjective kAtoxos were technical in this con- 
nexion : Fersae 226, C.I. A. Boeckh I. pp. 486-7. 



44 THE EUMENIDES 

their way, and in the hearts of the Citizens may there be 
good will for good received. 

Fur. Joy to you, again I say it, joy, all ye dwellers in 
the City, mortal and immortal both. While ye possess the 
City of Pallas and keep my Denizenship sacred, your life's 1020 
fortunes shall give you nothing to complain of.^ 

Ath, I thank you for the terms of these your benedictions, 
and will now conduct you with the light of blazing torches 
to that nether subterranean House, with ministers that are 
the guards of mine own image; and with right; for it 
should be the eye of all the land of Theseus that shall 
arrive,^ a noble troop of maidens, wives, and aged dames. 

Deck them with scarlet over-cloaks of honour, and let 1030 
the blazing light move on ; that so the good will of these 
new dwellers in the land may be shown henceforth in 
blessings of fine Manhood.^ 

^ V. 1015. Punctuate : 

Xa^p6T6 .... 
Tr(£i'T€s 01 Kara -ktoKiv 
Saifioyes re Kal BpoToi ' 
TlaWdSos Tr6\iv yefiov 

T€5, fJL€TOLKlaV 5' e^^V 

eS (re^oyT^St oH n fxe/irj/eaOe ffvfKpopas 0iov. 
Compare Supp. 8i and Cho. 792 in my translation. The accepted 
punctuation at ve/iovris is tautology. 

^ V. 1027 i^lxoiT &v: for the optative, cf. Soph. O.C. 647, 861, Eur. 
Or. 109, Plato Protag. 310 B. 

^ <poiViKt3B6,itTQiz ivdvTols ^ffB^^afTt 

Ti^are, koL tJ) (fteyyos dpfiatrOa irvpSs, 

Birios hv eij<pp0fv 7J5' dfjLt\la xflocbs 

ri ^oiTrbv ciidySpOiffi ffvfitpopais irpeirri. 
There are three allusions in this passage to the Panathenaic Festival : 
on that occasion the juetoikoi, Resident Aliens oi" Denizens, were per- 
mitted to take part in the procession as being of good will (Hesychius 
s.v. 2ica0r)<f>iipoi), and for special honour were arrayed in scarlet cloaks 
(Photius s.v. Sita^as). The Furies (now Eu^erffies, Benign Ones) are 
to be treated as the fierotKot were at the Panathenaea, and the whole 



THE EUMENIDES 45 

Chorus of the Escort. 

Pass on your way, O ye mighty ones, jealous of honour,^ 
Children .... of Night, in glad-hearted procession 

Hush ye, good words, all ye people ! 

There in primeval mysterious caves of the Earth .... 
worship of honour and sacrifice 

Hush, all ye people, good words ! 1040 

Gracious and loyal-hearted to the land, come hither, O 
ye Worshipful, pleased with flame-devouring torch upon 
your way 

Cry aloud now with jubilee in chorus ! 



the citizens of Pallas : Zeus the all-seeing and Fate have 
conspired to this end. 

Cry aloud now with jubilee in chorus ! 

of this procession is designed as a reflection of the great procession at 
that feast. And elidvSpoicrt is an allusion to the contest of ivavSpia on 
that occasion. See my paper on ' The Last Scene of the Eumenides ' 
in i^& Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1906, p. 268. 

It is still possible that, as Hermann thought, a passage may have 
fallen out before this. 

Ttvpis should perhaps be irapos. 

^ Puff 6S6v, & fieydKai <pi\6Tijj.ot is my emendation. Being written (as 
was often done) without elision, fia-noSova was mistaken for fiar' 4v 
S6fJLa>. Many have been content to read Pare S6ft,!ji, but the utmost that 
could mean is ' step upon the house.' The sentence seems to call for S, 
and in starting the procession to Athena at the XoA/teia Sophocles fra^, 
760 uses the phrase )35t' (is SShv Si\, iras d xeip2''a? \((is. 

This is a Paean of gladness, in dactyUc metre, like those in Bergk 
Poetae Lyrici III ■* p. 676 and in Eur. Phaethon 773. 66 seqq. , and 
corresponds to that which was chanted at the Panathenaea : J. H. S. 
1906, p. 274. 

At the words oXoMJ{aT6 vvv t'lrl iio\irais the Eumenides will join in 
the women's cry of Ololu I The words themselves are probably uttered 
by a Herald (whose commands were usually in anapaestic verse) ; and 
if so, it is he who gives the warning eu^o/iEiVe. 



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